Many fictional princesses are commonly overlooked for their virtues, particularly because they're somehow so easily kidnapped. It definitely doesn't help that many remain reliant on men to save them.
Nonetheless, many princesses have grown comfortable with dirtying their hands, er... gloves? Though not always completely self-sufficient, here are five that can handle themselves when necessary.
Peach is known as little more than a certified damsel in distress, but the very first time Bowser kidnapped her was legitimate. He'd transformed all of her subjects into inanimate objects and, seeing as she was the only person powerful enough to revert the spell, he took her. I'd argue that her subjects were already useless, inanimate or not, but that's not the point.
Besides her obvious and implied magical abilities, Peach is a skilled player of many sports and baker of cakes. As seen in her Super Smash Bros. appearances, she boasts a fighting style that is elegant, deadly, and very, very pink.
Did I mention that she's also one half of a malicious speed demon?
Wise beyond her years and gifted in multiple schools of magic, Zelda has proven herself to be a worthy ruler of Hyrule. Unlike Peach, who is consistently kidnapped by the same person, almost every villain in the series has gone after Zelda, further emphasizing her being a threat rather than just an easy target.
When not sitting on her throne or in some cage somewhere, Zelda is a remarkable fighter. With rapiers, longbows, and fireballs at her disposal, she can dispatch most opponents with ease, as seen in both Super Smash Bros. and Hyrule Warriors. In fact, her Sheik persona is so beloved that Zelda's effectively holds two slots on both coveted rosters.
Kitana's home realm of Edenia was the site of much corruption due to the influence of her false step-father Shao Kahn. Once aware of the truth, she fought valiantly for her homeland and to atone for her past sins. The simple fact that she took to the front lines is a testament to her strength.
Kitana is an extremely well-known femme fatale in the fighting game genre. She is never without her trademark steel fans, which are both beautiful and brutal, much in line with her character as a whole. It is worth noting that, although she looks to be in her twenties, she is over 10,000 years old. But age is just a number, right?
Princess Ashe is unlike the other women on this list. Married at the age of seventeen and widowed shortly after, Ashe is no damsel in need of saving. Instead, she is a mature young woman whose dedication to the restoration of her family name is unshakeable.
My favorite thing about Ashe is that she's got her priorities straight. She's loved and lost, but she's not looking for a replacement. Her focus is regaining the Dalmascan throne, though she will not compromise her own or her late husband's morals in the process. Many fictional female characters are easily tempted by matters of the heart. Ashe, on the other hand, knows hers well.
People often forget that Street Fighter's Elena is the princess of an East African nation. A master of Capoeira, she doesn't fight simply because she's good at it, but because it's a part of her culture. She's well-equipped for the task too, being six feet tall with long, powerful legs.
Though she wears a two piece year-round, Elena's personality couldn't be farther from sexualized. She's a sweetheart and healthy competitor, always looking to make friends. She's also remarkably in tune with the forces of nature, able to hear voices in the wind and trees – Pocahontas shares her thunder. Elena also aspires to follow in her father's footsteps and study abroad.